You know, yesterday I said something nice about Sony’s rollout of PlayStation Plus in Asia. How it was NOT entirely a dumpster fire and actually has a robust library of games. Then Sony completely fucks it up with strange and borderline anti-consumer decisions.
First, let’s talk about a decision that’s just plain lazy. In what some would say is a case of deja vu, it appears that some of the PlayStation 1 titles on PlayStation Plus are running the slower-performing PAL versions of games. The PAL versions usually run at a lower framerate, which translates into choppier playback. As some may recall, this was an issue with the PlayStation Mini. There really is no reason why Sony would opt for the PAL version, other than not giving a shit or pure laziness.
Another decision from Sony is just “scumbaggy.” According to reports circulating online, original PlayStation Plus subscribers who purchased a subscription at a discount now have to pay the difference in order to upgrade.
As one user in Hong Kong explains, “[Imagine] if I went to KFC [the other day] and I bought a meal at a discount, then today I have to pay back that discount in order to buy another meal…”
The fried chicken analogy really resonated with me. Why can’t launch a service without it being an utter shitshow?
Last week, Sony announced a list of games that would launch with PlayStation Plus when it rolls out in Asia, and yours truly had a shit fit on how underwhelming it was. Today, I stand corrected.
The list that was released today on the PlayStation website is far more extensive, including a mix of PS4 and PS5 games, as well as a “Classics Catalog,” which is a good thing. Sony also goes on to promise that more games will be added soon. So maybe PlayStation Plus won’t be entirely dead on arrival when it matches up with Xbox Game Pass.
Better yet, it was announced that games on the service may feature enhancements, like up-rendering, rewind, and quick save, thereby taking advantage of the PS5’s horsepower. Gamers can also opt for various scaling, aspect ratios, and video filters, to give their classics some retro crustiness.
PlayStation Plus is scheduled to launch in Japan next, and then rolling out to the USA and Europe in June.
There has been a good amount of information released today regarding the imminent launch of PlayStation Plus in Asia. Too bad that it’s not all good and still confusing as hell.
Next week, the new tiered PlayStation Plus subscription service will launch in Asia with a slow rollout to other regions in June. Sony has announced today that 119 games will be available in the $15/month Premium tier and even fewer titles will be available in the $10/month Extra tier.
That’s great, but that is not even close to the “up to 740 games” that Sony announced previously. That even includes 27 titles from the recently announced Ubisoft+ service that Sony has partnered up with.
It’s interesting that an official Sony blog post in March touts 700+ games while their post today mentions no count at all. However, a quick manual count shows the library at 119, so what gives? Will more games be added for the June global rollout or was this a massive miscalculation from Sony?
What I do know is that if Sony expects PlayStation Plus to compete with Xbox Game Pass, then they will need to up the value proposition. As of right now, Sony’s answer to Game Pass is looking lame as hell and I see no way how it can possibly compete with Game Pass.
During a year-end financial report, Sony announced that PlayStation Plus had a “small” in membership, but they are not worried apparently.
For the year-end fiscal report, which for Sony is on March 31, Sony reported that PlayStation Plus had 47.4 million subscribers during the quarter ending on March 2022. That figure is a decrease of 600,000 subscribers when compared to the previous quarter from December 2021.
If you ask me, the loss of 600,000 subscribers in a three-month period should be concerning. However, Sony expects to attract new subscribers when it relaunches the tiered PlayStation service in June.
Just for shits and giggles, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service has 25 million subscribers while Xbox Live Gold has nearly 100 million subscribers. Sony has quite the hill to climb to even come close to what Xbox provides its customers.
According to GameDeveloper.com, Sony has begun communicating with developers that games that cost $34 or higher will be required to have time-limited demos on the Playstation Plus Premium tier. These demos must be at least two hours long.
Apparently, many devs felt blindsided by this announcement, as they were informed about the policy via an update on Sony’s developer portal.
As someone who has been gaming a long time, I can give two shits over game demos.
Sony has announced dates for the global rollout of Playstation Plus, their weak sauce response to Xbox Gamepass.
Asia markets (excluding Japan) — targeting May 23, 2022
Japan — targeting June 1, 2022
Americas — targeting June 13, 2022
Europe — targeting June 22, 2022
These are targets mind you, and not set in stone dates, so things can change.
In case you forgot, Playstation Plus has a tiered pricing model.
PS Plus Essential — $60 per year with two monthly games, discounts, cloud saves, and online multiplayer.
PS Plus Extra — $100 per year with “up to 400” PS4 and PS5 games.
PS Plus Premium — $120 per year with “340 additional games” including titles from the PS1, PS2, PSP, and (cloud steaming only) PS3 catalog, as well as PlayStation Now-style cloud streaming and “time-limited game trials.”
Sony still has not announced what games you’ll get, which makes it difficult to gauge whether this is a good value or not.